Overview[ edit ] The novel features a mixture of real and fictional characters that are all connected to the extended family of Victor "Pug" Henry, a fictional middle-aged Naval Officer and confidant of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In the television version, he also meets German General Armin von Roon. In the book he only meets Von Roon later at a Berlin dinner party. Realizing that this would mean war with the Soviet Union , he concludes that the only way for Germany to safely invade is to agree not to go to war with the Soviets. Although this new assignment again delays his desired sea command, it gives him the opportunity to travel to London , Rome , and Moscow where he meets Winston Churchill , Benito Mussolini , and Joseph Stalin in addition to Adolf Hitler , whom he met in Berlin. Through Pug, she meets a widowed engineer named Palmer Fred Kirby, who later will be involved in the first phase of the Manhattan Project.
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Wouk died in his sleep early Friday, May 17, , according to his literary agent Amy Rennert. He was Benc Jr. Wouk was just 10 days shy of his th birthday and was working on a book until the end, said his literary agent Amy Rennert. Rennert said Wouk died in his sleep at his home in Palm Springs, California, where he settled after spending many years in Washington, D. Among the last of the major writers to emerge after World War II and first to bring Jewish stories to a general audience, he had a long, unpredictable career that included gag writing for radio star Fred Allen, historical fiction and a musical co-written with Jimmy Buffett.
Wouk pronounced WOKE was an outsider in the literary world. From Ernest Hemingway to James Joyce, major authors of the 20th century were assumed either anti-religious or at least highly skeptical.
But Wouk was part of a smaller group that included C. For much of his life, he studied the Talmud daily and led a weekly Talmud class. He gave speeches and sermons around the country and received several prizes, including a lifetime achievement award from the Jewish Book Council. Wouk had a mixed reputation among critics. In , the Library of Congress marked his 80th birthday with a symposium on his career; historians David McCullough, Robert Caro, Daniel Boorstin and others were present.
His father would read to him from Sholem Aleichem, the great Yiddish writer. If war had not intruded, he might have stuck to comedy sketches.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the Navy and served as an officer in the Pacific. But his next book looked into domestic matters. Wouk spoke often of his concern about assimilation and this story told of an aspiring Jewish actress whose real name was Marjorie Morgenstern.
Then he writes about this girl and nothing happens. He should burn this book and forget it. He was famous enough to appear on the cover of Time magazine, even as some Jews complained his book perpetuated stereotypes and critics complained he was too old-fashioned, too accepting of authority.
He believed that among writers, anti-conformity was a kind of conformity. They preached not to the converted, but to the curious. They anticipated arguments about religion and tried their best to answer them.
His books followed no proven formula.
THE WINDS OF WAR
His father toiled for many years to raise the family out of poverty before opening a successful laundry service. After a brief period as a young adult during which he lived a secular life, he returned to religious practice. S Naval Reserve in and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II , an experience he later characterized as educational: "I learned about machinery, I learned how men behaved under pressure, and I learned about Americans. He participated in eight invasions and won a number of battle stars. Wouk sent a copy of the opening chapters to philosophy professor Irwin Edman , under whom he studied at Columbia,  who quoted a few pages verbatim to a New York editor. The novel was published in and became a Book of the Month Club main selection. At one point she remarked that if they did not like this one, he had better take up another line of work a line he would give to the character of the editor Jeannie Fry in his novel Youngblood Hawke ,
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‘Caine Mutiny,’ ‘Winds of War’ author Herman Wouk has died